Using Second-Level Assessment Questions to Navigate Differing Perceptions of Value

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During an interaction with a prospective customer, do you find ways to give them value?

80% of buyers say they don’t get anything of value from salespeople. The problem is that salespeople think they’re offering value. But there’s a gap between what they perceive as valuable and what the customer perceives as valuable. It’s a major problem.

If your buyers don’t perceive the value, it doesn’t matter. What can you do?

Ask a second-level assessment question

After you present what you think is something valuable, ask your potential buyer an assessment question. It helps them think through and verbally respond to the value you share. You can’t ask things like, “Do you have any questions?” or “Does it make sense?” Instead, you want to ask:

“Based on what I’ve shared about A, B, and C, if you were to have that in your organization, what would the positive benefits be?” It forces them to stop and actively think through what you shared. Most likely, they’ll tell you what the positive impact would be.

Clarify what you’re trying to say

If there’s a disconnect between the value you’re offering and what they’re perceiving, you can clarify, reapply, and nudge people in the right direction. The truth is that people listen but don’t always process everything you’re sharing. By stopping and asking second-level assessment questions, they begin to process the information and it removes friction from processing the value.

Even better? When you ask second-level assessment questions, you’re perceived as being more credible, and trustworthy, and the prospect is more likely to comply with your request.

The positive impact of asking questions

In episode #309 of Negotiations Ninja, David Hoffeld shared a study that looked at the positive impact of asking someone for their opinion. The subjects were hooked up to fMRI machines.

When those people were asked for their opinion, the areas of the brain associated with pleasure lit up. People like answering second-level questions. Why? Because they feel like they’re being valued. That’s why you want to interact with your buyer as much as possible and ask their opinion.

Default to second-level assessment questions

When you represent meaningful value that someone needs to think through, default to a second-level assessment question. It will keep everyone on the same page and can often transform a buyer’s perception of your value proposition.

To learn more about the science of selling, listen to episode #309 of Negotiations Ninja with David Hoffeld, a best-selling author and the CEO and Chief Sales Trainer at Hoffeld Group.